District Dining, Surry Hills

District Dining is a new favourite restaurant that I discovered this year.  In fact, I cannot believe that it took me this long to try it!  Tucked away right next to Central Station opposite the Devonshire Street exit, it is unbelievably convenient to get to by public transport.

District Dining has one of those menus where there are at least ten different things that I want to try because everything just sounds so good!  The first time we visited, I was bitterly disappointed to hear that the school prawns had sold out for the day.  I stared at the waiter in disbelief before shaking myself back to reality and had a consolation prize of the crispy quail eggs with tarragon mayonnaise instead.  They were nice, but they were no school prawns.  On this same visit, I tried the steak tartare and mandarin brulee - it was delicious and enough to convince me to come back again.

During this second visit, I crossed my fingers and prayed to the food gods that the school prawns would be available.

This time, I started off with a crisp pear caprioska.

All District Dining cocktails are $17

It was refreshing and exactly what I needed on a Friday night.  

After studying the menu for a long time (again, there were too many enticing options and there had been some seasonal menu changes since the last visit), we waved the waiter over.  I ordered with baited breath and the waiter didn't blink an eye as he wrote down the order for school prawns.  Phew!

Crispy school prawns with lime mayonnaise ($16)

District chicken wings with chili caramel ($12)

The crispy school prawns were amazing!  So delicious.  Each prawn was chomped down whole, with the head and body deep fried to a crunch.  The bowl of prawns seemed bottomless, it was a generous serving size for the mere $16 paid.  I especially liked the bigger prawns as they had the most prawn-y flavour.

The chicken wings were also yummy with the clear standout being the finger-licking chili caramel sauce.

Roasted spatchcock, succotash, lime sour cream and tortilla ($29)

When the spatchcock arrived at our table, I was surprised by how BIG it was!  The spatchcock had been carved into quarters and seemed about the same size as a small chicken.  I could only eat about half of this and handed over the rest to my dining companion.

Duck confit, sweet potato, pomegranate, ras el hanout ($27)

This photo doesn't really do the duck confit justice.  It was crisp yet moist and the sweet potato added wonderful flavour to the dish.  About half the size of the spatchcock.

There were only four dessert options on the menu but it was still so hard to choose!

Chocolate mousse, hazelnut brittle ice cream and hazelnut crumble ($14)

Cookie sandwich, coconut and chocolate, honeycomb parfait ($14)

In hindsight, we should have gone for the creme brulee because the two desserts that we did choose were very similar and ended up being a bit overly sweet.

In the week following this meal, I kept dreaming about the crispy school prawns and would begin salivating at the thought of them.  District Dining has awakened the crispy school prawn monster in me!

District Dining on Urbanspoon


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. zomg ive been thinking about duck all week and now i want the confit duck!

  2. ordered with baited breath... bait.